Easy to build and intuitive to users, Synced Controls are a workbook element option from Sigma Computing that create filter or parameter control copies with identical and synchronized configurations.
In short, one control configuration to rule them all!
An added bonus of this feature is the ability to make any control Required for the users to make a selection prior to other page elements from loading. This is incredibly helpful for ensuring your users have selected all necessary components before interpreting analysis and can help with workbook performance.
In this blog, we’ll explore Synced and Required Controls in Sigma, including how to use them, their advantages, best practices, and more!
What are Synced and Required Controls in Sigma, and Why Do They Matter?
Synced Controls make multiple-page workbooks navigation and interaction easier. By creating a synced copy, all configurations such as the control source, targets, and the filter or parameter type are identical and the copy can be moved to other pages. This allows for an enhanced user experience without having to jump back and forth between pages to change the filter or parameter selections.
Also added, is the ability to set control selections to be Required before other data elements load. The primary impact for the users is limiting the amount of data that needs to be processed—ultimately improving the performance of your workbook pages.
How to Sync and Unsync Controls
There are two ways to create a synced copy of a filter or parameter. (Note: You must be in edit mode of your workbook and your filter needs to be converted to a page control before you can create a synced copy.)
The first option is to use the Synced Controls settings that have been integrated into the existing dropdown menu found in the top right corner of your filter or parameter element when you hover over it.
Create a synced copy” and configure a Control of Parameter. From the menu Once you have created and configured a filter or parameter control, find the “Create a synced copy” option in the control dropdown menu and click it.
The second way to make a synced copy is to click into your filter or parameter and use the settings panel that appears on the left side of your window. Navigate to the synced copies tab (next to settings and targets) and click “+ Create a synced copy”.
Either way, you created the copy, and the copy will appear right below the original. You can also make additional copies that can be moved to other pages or on multiple locations on the same page for longer scrolling views.
You can easily see a list of all the synced copies for that control element under the “Synced Copies” tab. The page location for each copy is listed below each copy and you can click on the copy name to easily navigate to it.
To Unsync a control, go back to the same dropdown menu and select “Unsync control.” When you unsync a control, Sigma automatically adds a number to the end of your control ID so they are identified as different controls. This is an important change to note if you have any calculations referencing this element.
Control element with multiple copies.
Unsynced control element’s new Control ID name.
How to Set Required Controls
The option to set a control as Required is included in the control configuration under the Settings tab. Just click in the check box to force user interaction prior to other data elements loading.
Chances are you have created a dashboard with a large data source where individual users are only concerned with “their data.” The Required control setting will ensure that the initial filtering process is much faster; eliminating the time previously spent watching thousands of table rows and chart marks load just to be filtered out later.
Tips and Reminders For Synced and Required Controls
For Required Controls, be sure to use text in the control label or a separate text box to clearly instruct the users to first interact with the filter or parameter so they understand why the rest of the page elements are not yet loaded.
Sigma Computing is constantly releasing new enhanced features and these are some of my favorites! Seamlessly integrated into the existing control settings and configurations, synced controls will save your users the hassle of switching back and forth between pages to filter their data, and required controls will help them do it faster.
phData is Sigma’s largest and most trusted consulting partner, so reach out today if you have any questions or need support!
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A: If you have an existing filter, there are no changes you need to make for them to be available to use as synced controls. Just follow the process listed above to create a synced copy of your existing filter.
A: Synced copies do not replace duplicates. You can still duplicate any element, just remember that duplicates have a completely independent configuration that will need to be set and they will not mirror any changes made to the original element.